Date: 4/10/15 | Host Club: MG CAR CLUB NEWCASTLE
Supported By: Shannons Insurance
Sunday 4th October saw the running of the final round of the NSW Championship for 2015 and the 58th running of the Mattara Hillclimb in King Edward Park, Newcastle. Sadly for all it was also the last weekend of this classic event, due to impending redevelopment of the picturesque beachside venue which will render it unusable for further motor sport.
Unfortunately Championship leader and 2015 champion elect, Malcolm Oastler was overseas but plenty of talent was on display, headed by Queensland ace Dean Tighe in his formidable Judd powered Dallara F395.
Veteran pilots Ron Hay (Synergy Dallara) and Dave Morrow (Krygger Suzuki) were in attendance to press their case whilst being kept honest by a couple of Young Guns, including local standout, Keith Hammond (Debron) and Canberra’s Zac LeLievre (Westfield Megabusa).
In picture perfect conditions, Tighe set the pace on 35.84s ahead of Hammond, Morrow, Le Lievre and Hay. Second Run saw Tighe consolidate his position with very agressive “wheels up” driving through the notorious Pinch (a stretch of track that is merely a walkway at other times).
In the final run Tighe shaved a fraction to take FTD of 34.10s, just outside the outright record of 32.90s set by Brett Hayward last year. Dave Morrow improved to be second quickest on 35.78s, Keith Hammond was next on 37.22s (a new 2A record) followed by Ron Hay and Zac LeLievre. Peter Brown (BAP Clubman) was next with a new 2C record.
Next quickest and Top Tin Top was Phil Heafey (Evo VI), with Kevin Lewis (Cheetah), Garry Ford (Escort) with David Isaacs (Evo V) rounding out the top ten. Fastest Lady was Joanne Bell (Mini). RRNL under 2.5L was again well supported and Tom Clements (Beetle) set a new class record of 43.03s as he edged out John Ribeiro (Toyota 86). In the over 2.5L group Geoff Brisby (HSV Clubsport) triumphed over Brett Manderson (Falcon).
Dave Watkins should be pleased also, lowering his record for the US Legends class…and the new one he gets to keep forever! For the many spectators (not to mention the drivers), the Electric Class created a lot of interest. Brett Sutherland in the Elmofo electric Radical (40.37s) coming out ahead of Matthew Higgins in the Tesla Roadster. We could be seeing more of this class in the future.
In accepting the winners trophy a delighted Dean Tighe commented “It was a lot of effort to get here but it was worth it…it’s one of the best”. As for Mattara 2016, more to come but early plans will see a gala event at the MGCCN’s purpose built facility at Ringwood Park near Raymond Terrace.
Alan Barlow – NSW Hillclimb Website Editor
EVENT PRESS COVERAGE:
Courtesy: Ebarlow Photos
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